Jeb Bush's Fundraising Haul: $114 Million
Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting his candidacy have raised a combined $114.4 million, according to disclosures from the two groups.
Bush’s nascent campaign raised $11.4 million since the former Florida governor officially jumped into the race more than two weeks ago, while Right to Rise, which cannot legally coordinate with the campaign, announced Thursday a fundraising haul of over $103 million in six months, with $98 million cash on hand.
Bush, who declared his candidacy just 16 days before the quarterly fundraising deadline set by the Federal Election Commission, raised an average of $710,000 per day during that span, the campaign said. Donations came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“Jeb is encouraged and grateful for the tremendous early support and enthusiasm his candidacy has generated since he launched his campaign,” national finance chairman Woody Johnson said.
Other GOP candidates are wary of what appears to be a cash juggernaut in the Bush operation. Right to Rise, which is led by longtime GOP strategist Mike Murphy, said Thursday that almost 10,000 people contributed to the super PAC, 500 of whom donated more than $25,000. Right to Rise is expected to launch TV, radio, and online ad buys as well as ground operations later this year.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming response from the thousands of donors who have been drawn to Jeb’s optimistic message of conservative renewal and reform,” Right to Rise treasurer and general counsel Charlie Spies said.
Bush’s fundraising strategy has come under fire from campaign finance watchdog groups, who claim Bush violated the law by traveling around the country to bring in millions of dollars for Right to Rise while he was still “testing the waters” – money that would be used to support the eventual campaign operation. A Bush spokeswoman told RealClearPolitics at the time that the former governor is “fully complying with the law” in all of his political activities, and would continue to do so.
Bush’s Republican rivals have announced more modest cash hauls in recent days. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the first major candidate to enter the race, has raised $14.2 million. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s total is $10.5 million, while former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina brought in $1.4 million.
On the Democratic side, frontrunner Hillary Clinton brought in a quarterly fundraising record of $45 million – an average of $570,000 per day – since the former secretary of state officially entered the race on April 12. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has gained steam in recent weeks as a progressive challenger to Clinton, raised $15 million for his campaign since it launched on April 30.
The Bush campaign is required to disclose by next Wednesday the names of donors and the amount of money each contributed.